How To Improve Your Stress Management Skills
From work tasks to taking care of the home and kids, our society is driven on high-stress with little time to relax. Unfortunately, we’re learning just how bad stress is for both our mental and physical health. According to recent medical studies, stress has been proven to weaken the body’s immune system, increase blood pressure, contribute to clogged arteries and increase the risk of heart disease by as much as 40%. Thankfully, stress is manageable and once you are able to get it under control, you shouldn’t have a problem keeping it that way. To learn the basics of stress management skills, keep reading and we’ll go over the basics.
Before you can manage your stress, you must first identify what you’re stressing about. It’s probably not one single thing that’s constantly bugging your mind, but an accumulation of dates, obligations, jobs, responsibilities, etc. Sit down and write out a list of all your everyday stresses that consume your life. Next, go through that list and try to weed out the unnecessary stresses. I know it will probably be difficult to let some of your responsibilities go at first, but this is one of the first steps in reducing the stress that’s consuming your life.
Stress Management Skills
After you’ve prioritized your daily tasks, you should work on better managing your time. Remember, there’s only 24 hours in a day so you must make that time count. This doesn’t mean work every hour in the day, but instead find time to relax and unwind too. Most importantly, though, don’t over-schedule yourself so you’re unable to complete all of your tasks. It’s easy to constantly tell co-workers and friends that you’ll be able to perform a task without thinking about the time and work requirements of it. Before saying “yes” to anyone, consider how much time it will actually take and whether or not you can successfully accomplish it in the given time frame.
Sometimes all it takes to better manage your stress is to reach out to others. Whether they’re employees, long-time friends or family members, you should seek their advice and guidance. Just talking to someone else about what’s stressing you is enough to make you feel better and more relaxed.
If you enjoy helping others, perhaps you should think about volunteering at your local homeless shelter or child’s network. Doing something that’s completely selfless will automatically make you feel better about yourself, therefore reducing your stress.
Stress can literally consume every aspect of your life until you’re no longer able to enjoy the things you normally would. Instead of thinking about vacations, spending time with your family or other recreational activities you enjoy, your mind is flooded with stressful activities and tasks which overwhelm your thought process. Once you’re able to manage your stress, you’ll find more enjoyment and appreciation for the smaller things in life.
If the majority of your stress comes from being overworked at your job or place of employment, perhaps you should take up a new hobby. Don’t make the assumption that you’re too old to start a new hobby. Whether it’s biking, jogging, golf or even rock climbing, you’re never too old to take up a new activity. When you start a new hobby, your brain focuses its attention on what’s needed to perform the task at hand. This allows you to take a much needed break from your stresses by temporarily forgetting about them.
In addition to starting a new hobby, you should also find some way to both physically and mentally relax. One of the most effective relaxation techniques is through yoga. Contrary to what many people believe, both men and women can benefit from this ancient Hindu form of meditation. While there are many different forms and methods of Yoga, most of them focus on stretching and breathing exercise to relax the body and mind. If you’re interested in trying out Yoga, check the local phone book and on the internet for classes around your area.
You may not realize it, but lack of sleep could be a contributing factor to your overall stress levels. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) states the average adult needs between 7 and 8 of sleep each night. If you’re getting less than this recommended amount, your brain isn’t given the time necessary to unwind and relax, therefore adding to your stress.
When all else fails, don’t be afraid to seek professional help for your stress. Unfortunately, stress doesn’t magically go away on its own. It takes patience, dedication, a complete change it your thought control, and sometimes the guidance of professionals. There’s nothing wrong with talking to a therapist about your stress, as they’ve likely talked to hundreds of individuals in the same position as you. Not only will they be someone to talk to about your problems, but they may even recommend relaxation techniques or natural stress relieving remedies as well.